Landon Fallon's Commentary

User submitted April 20, 2017

The Palatka Mall is a small mall located right on the edge of Palatka, FL. The mall opened around 1981, to great fanfare. The mall, even with the good opening, had trouble keeping tenants. Sometime in 1992, the Belk-Hudson, a good retailer around Palatka since 1946, closed its doors. When the mall was acquired by Vanguard Associates in 1999, the mall was already at 60% occupancy.

In a quick decision, Vanguard made the mall a quasi-government service center, with mixes between regular stores and Florida Department of Health, Education and Revenue and the United States Armed Forces Recruiting. As well as the theatre added to the mall, by 2003, the mall was back to 90% occupancy. However, more and more big-box stores were added around the area, which declined the mall's visitation.

When I visited the mall, the JCPenney mall entrance hall was completely blocked off, since they were building a Ollie's Bargain Outlet. The JCPenney was closing its store, and from inside the JCPenney, you could see them hiding the mall entrance. All of the more popular stores had no mall entrance, and neither did the cinema. Inside the mall, all that was two different pet stores, a Florida Department of Health office, and a DCF office. There was also a U.S Army recruitment center, as well as a VA clinic, which was a former Belk-Hudson. If the Ollie's does not do any good for the mall, it will be safe to say that the Palatka Mall, is dead.

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